23 February 2019
High net worth individuals in China prefer to migrate to Hong Kong. Photo: Bloomberg
High net worth individuals in China prefer to migrate to Hong Kong. Photo: Bloomberg

Half of rich Chinese plan to migrate in five years

Nearly one in two wealthy Chinese plans to move to another country in the next five years, according to a new Barclays survey.

The survey, involving over 2,000 individuals from 17 countries with a net worth of more than US$1.5 million, showed that 47 percent of the Chinese respondents wanted to leave the country.

Thirty percent of those who favored migration listed Hong Kong as their top destination, followed by Canada at 23 percent.

Liam Bailey, head of residential research at global real estate consultancy Knight Frank, puts the Chinese preference for Hong Kong down to convenience of doing business.

“The reality is that most high net worth individuals in China are probably making money in China right now,” he said.

“So, for business reasons, they need to be relatively close — that might prevent some of them going further afield.”

The top reasons Chinese cite for moving abroad are better educational and employment opportunities for children (78 percent), economic security and desirable climate (73 percent), and better health care and social services (18 percent).

Next to Chinese, Singaporeans were the second most eager to leave their country, with 23 percent planning to relocate in five years. In the United Kingdom, 20 percent of the respondents wanted to leave, while 16 percent of those in Hong Kong planning to do so.

The rich in India and the US are the least likely to move, with only 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively, saying they would relocate.

The study also found that over two in five high net worth individuals have lived in more than one country.

The 750 entrepreneurs among the respondents are twice as likely to be planning a move abroad in the next five years, compared with other high net worth individuals.

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EJ Insight reporter

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